HarrisMartin's MDL Conference: 'Bet-the-Company' Mass Tort Litigation, Current Activity and Developing Trends Faculty

Co-Chair Richard J. Arsenault, Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, Show/Hide Bio

Co-Chair Richard J. Arsenault

Richard Arsenault has been recognized as one of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by Trial Lawyer Magazine. He has participated in over 25 multidistrict litigation proceedings and currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Actos MDL where a jury rendered a historic $9 billion dollar punitive damage verdict which has been reported as one of the nation’s largest personal injury verdicts. He subsequently served on the Actos MDL team that negotiated a $2.4 billion dollar settlement which is the largest single mass tort settlement for a drug that is still on the market. In the Pinnacle MDL pending in Dallas federal court where Richard serves on the Executive Committee, he was part of the Trial Team that secured a $502 million dollar jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy, after an 11 week trial. Richard was nominated for the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation and also selected as a 2015 member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. The National Trial Lawyers recognized Richard as the 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Civil Plaintiff Finalist.

Co-Chair Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, San Francisco Show/Hide Bio

Co-Chair Elizabeth J. Cabraser

A Champion for Justice

Under Elizabeth Cabraser’s leadership, Lieff Cabraser has become one of the country’s largest law firms serving clients seeking redress for financial and consumer fraud, anti-competitive practices, harmful drugs and products, and illegal employment practices. For nearly four decades, Elizabeth has made sure that our firm remains dedicated to its core values.

Possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, Elizabeth has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. These cases include multi-state tobacco, the Exxon Valdez disaster, Breast Implants, Fen-Phen (Diet Drugs), Vioxx, Toyota sudden acceleration, numerous securities/investment fraud cases, and Holocaust litigation. Today, Elizabeth serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases: the BP Gulf Oil Spill, GM ignition switch defect, and Takata defective airbag litigation, as well as serving as sole Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Emissions litigation and the Fiat Chrysler Ecodiesel Emissions litigation.

A Pillar of the Plaintiffs’ Bar

Elizabeth has been repeatedly recognized as one of the foremost litigators in our nation, including being selected an unprecedented four times as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, which has called her “a pillar of the plaintiffs’ bar.”

In November of 2018, Elizabeth was chosen in the inaugural group for the National Law Journal’s “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar,” a new award celebrating women lawyers who “have consistently excelled in high-stakes matters on behalf of plaintiffs over the course of their careers.” In March 2018, Elizabeth was inducted into the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, and in May 2018 was named a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” by Law360. In July 2018, Public Justice honored her with its “Champion of Justice” award – the foundation’s highest honor. In late 2017, she received the National Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors an attorney’s career-long accomplishments and their impact on the national legal community.

Also in 2017, Elizabeth was was named “Plaintiff Attorney of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation, which noted that she “is known nationwide for having handled some of the largest class actions in US history, as well as being one the firm’s — and the country’s — foremost trial lawyers.” The publication also named her to its lists for “Top 10 Women in Litigation,” “Top 250 Women in Litigation,” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.” The National Law Journal selected Elizabeth as a 2017 “Energy and Environmental Law Trailblazer,” and Chambers USA named her a “Leader in the Field” for General Litigation (California) and Product Liability (Nationwide). The Consumer Attorneys of California selected Elizabeth as a “Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist,” and the California Daily Journal included her among its “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California” and “Top California Women Lawyers” as well as naming her and the Lieff Cabraser team “California Lawyers of the Year” for their work on the historic Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Fraud case.

In 2016, Benchmark recognized her as a “Top 10 Female Litigator,” noting “Elizabeth Cabraser is one of the best trial lawyers to be found anywhere. She has an unassuming yet massive courtroom presence.” Also in 2016, Law360 named Elizabeth a “Most Valuable Player” in Class Action Law.

Keynote Speaker W. Mark Lanier, The Lanier Law Firm, Houston Show/Hide Bio

Keynote Speaker W. Mark Lanier

Attorney, author, teacher, pastor and expert storyteller, Mark Lanier is no stranger to the public platform. Since he founded The Lanier Law Firm in 1990, Mark has earned international recognition as one of the top trial attorneys in the United States, with firm offices in Houston, Oklahoma City, New York and Los Angeles supporting his work for clients across the country.

Mark’s courtroom experience is significant and diverse, including:

In July of 2018, Mark and his trial team secured a record setting $4.69 billion verdict for 22 women and their families who alleged that decades of daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s asbestos-laden talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer.

In November 2017, Mark helped secure a $247 million verdict against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of health care giant Johnson & Johnson, over Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants. The verdict was won on behalf of six New York residents who claim they were injured by the faulty medical devices. This verdict comes on the heels of two others won in March and December of 2016, both against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. The March verdict was recognized by the National Law Journal as the Outstanding Medical Device Award for 2016, and as one of the Top 50 Verdicts of the Year. In the December verdict, Mark won over $1 billion, which ranked as the fourth largest verdict in the nation for that year. Together, the two consecutive verdicts were ranked as the first and second largest products liability verdicts of 2016.

Mark scored another headline-grabbing verdict in April 2014 against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Co. over the diabetes drug Actos which exceeded over $9 billion.

From the very beginning of his career, Mark has proved again and again that he is not one to slow down or rest on the laurels of his recent victories. Early in 1993, he made a huge impact in the world of courtroom litigation by winning a then-record $483 million verdict for a small oil company in a business fraud case against one of the nation’s largest oil providers.

His winning of a $258 million verdict in the nation’s first trial over the painkiller Vioxx, Ernst v. Merck, set the tone for similar cases nationally.
Mark followed up the record Vioxx verdict with two wins totaling more than $50 million over the same drug.

Khaldoun A. Baghdadi, Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, San Francisco

Jeffrey M. Bassett, Morrow, Morrow, Ryan, Basset & Haik, Opelousas, LA

Lindsey Cheek, The Cheek Law Firm LLC, New Orleans

Hon. Andrew Y.S. Cheng, California Superior Court, San Francisco County, San Francisco

Tony Clayton, Clayton | Frugé | Ward, Port Allen, LA

Erin Copeland, Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, Houston

Blake Deady, President, Archer Systems, LLC, Houston

Brian Devine, Seeger Salvas & Devine LLP, San Francisco

Professor Jaime L. Dodge, Director, The Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta

Don M. Downing, Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., St. Louis

Nicholas J. Drakulich, The Drakulich Firm, San Diego

Robert J. Drakulich, The Drakulich Firm, San Diego

Prof. Kyle H. Dreyer, Executive Program Coordinator, Baylor Law, Waco, TX

Prof. Thomas C. Galligan Jr., Dean, LSU Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA

Jason Giles, The King Firm, LLC, New Orleans

Paul J. Hanly Jr., Simmons Hanly Conroy, New York

John P. Hooper, King & Spalding LLP, New York

Michelle L. Kranz, Zoll, Kranz & Borgess, Toledo, OH

Jane Lamberti, The Cochran Firm, Atlanta

Rachel Lanier, The Lanier Law Firm, New York

Catelyn McDonough, Anapol Weiss, Philadelphia

Melanie H. Muhlstock, Parker | Waichman LLP, New York

James F. Murdica, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Chicago

Stephanie O’Connor, Douglas & London, P.C., New York

Michelle A. Parfitt, Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP, Washington, DC

Paul J. Pennock, Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., New York

Shannon Pennock, Pennock Law Firm LLC, New York

Scott A. Powell, Hare Wynn Newell & Newton, Birmingham, AL

Justin Presnal, Simmons Hanly Conroy, Alton, IL

Joseph F. Rice, Motley Rice, Mount Pleasant, SC

Gary J. Russo, Jones Walker LLP, Lafayette, LA

Ken Seeger, Seeger Salvas & Devine LLP, San Francisco

John K. Sherk, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., San Francisco

Joseph Thorpe, Chief Executive Officer, International Litigation Services, Inc. (ILS), Irvine, CA

James M. Williams, Chehardy Sherman Williams, Metairie, LA

Shean D. Williams, The Cochran Firm, Atlanta

Prof. James E. Wren, Leon Jaworski Chair of Practice & Procedure, Baylor Law, Waco, TX

Back to HarrisMartin's MDL Conference: 'Bet-the-Company' Mass Tort Litigation, Current Activity and Developing Trends


May 27, 2020

7:30AM - 5:00PM


Call (610) 647-5500 or
email [email protected]